Fringe Fest Review: Ephemer-illz Goes Greek

Ephemer-illz. Ephemer-illz. Montreal Fringe Festival.

Ephemer-illz (conceived by Carina de Klerk and Lynn Kozak) was an improvisation piece where two girls who may or may not have been madly in love tossed Greek lyric poetry back and forth over a couple of bottles of beer.

On a technical level, the play was unforgivably lacking. The sound of the air conditioner and the actors’ lack of diction made a lot of it hard to understand. These are very basic blunders that would normally put me right off a play. But.

The tension in the room was both comfortable and electrifying. Whether it was chemistry or a mutual love of the material, the actors brought a familiar, charming, erotic energy to the piece. These two actresses blushing, trying to articulate ancient truths in a tiny room over the sound of the air conditioner, were thoroughly magnetic.

Ephemer-illz LIbation

Ephemer-illz LIbation

The quotes were profound and hilarious. For someone who hasn’t read a lot of (any) Greek lyric poetry, this was a great introduction, though the pace was at times off-putting. It would sometimes flounder awkwardly in one patch, then pick up and gallop through a series of quotes that each deserved at least a little more explanation.

An improvisation piece of this nature could so easily drag on – but, at just a 28 minutes (precisely – there was a timer), it went on just exactly as long as it could get away with and still be delightful. Ephemer-illz is definitely worth a look. You will at worst leave informed, and at best, if you are an atmospheric vampire like me, leave satisfied after a tasty meal of uncontrived ambiance.

Ephemer-illz is at Off B Espace Freestanding Room (4324 St Laurent #300) on June 8 at 9 p.m., June 11 at 5 p.m., June 13 at 9 p.m., June 14 at 5 p.m., June 15 at 7 p.m., June 18 at 9 p.m., June 19 at 7 p.m., and June 20 at 9 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. 30 minutes. $8.